Understanding Behavior of Organizations To Improve Behavior in Organizations

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Abstract

Human behavior occurs in an environment. The environment is usually a family, social group, work group, school, or workplace. Each of these environments is a system, with systemic properties and dynamics that influence how that system interacts with a person's behavior. Behavioral systems analysis combines principles of behavior analysis and system analysis to understand how to improve behavior of persons and of organizations. Behavior analysis is powerful but has specific limitations. Behavioral systems analysis was invented to deal with the limitations and build on the poser of behavior analysis. Six foundational notions that guide behavioral systems analysis are presented. The six notions can be found in or abstracted from the management literature and the general systems literature, but applying the foundational notions requires careful integration of systems principles and behavioral principles. Ongoing work by Rummler and others is testing and validating specific techniques for use of behavioral and systems principles within the context of living organizations.

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